Redemption (2013) Poster

(I) (2013)

User Reviews

Review this title
118 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
More than an action movie
quincytheodore10 May 2013
It's been quite a long time, perhaps for the first, that I was engrossed with Jason Statham's movie, not due to the sheer number of cracked skulls, but with his character and the ones around him. Hummingbird is another entity compared to his usual martial arts filled carnage, although his trademark of hurting people certainly didn't disappear. Jason Statham as Joey Jones, takes on a deeper and more emotional role, which with the help of director Stephen Knight, surprisingly works well.

Agata Buzek as Cristina, a love interest role which couldn't be any farther than Jennifer Lopez's in Parker, is an altruistic nun who cares for Joey in his darker times. She is not the typical cinema beauty, yet she is humbly charming. Her acting is impeccable, often giving eerily sympathetic moments that could silence the audience. Statham benefits from her presence as well as he gives more to acting than the majority of his movies. That doesn't mean he will be getting awards soon, but it is a good direction on his part.

Cinematography utilizes London cityscape in a very rustic fashion, it's the opposite from the well-advertised side of the city. Streets and alleyways seem more in touch with reality, nothing grandiose about them, while prettier settings ooze some illusion of eminent cosmetic. With sleek scene transition between them, the movie appears to be very grounded. Story and script are great, despite having a few coincidental twists. It's somewhat a stark contradiction from the grimy visual, a bits of fantasy to escape the harsh prospect. Smart ways to evoke more mature theme is appreciated and it makes Hummingbird more subtly artistic.

Statham's character is a vigilante, a crowd-pleasing broken man whose past never lets him go. He does this part to his best, enough to at least differentiate him from his other tough guy role. However, people who purchase ticket to see Statham delivers knockout punches or staggering kick might be slightly disappointed. The action is brutal and punishing, but there's considerably fewer scenes from what might be expected from his type of movie, although these few are choreographed and done well in a more street brawl kind of way. Having a genuine martial artist couldn't hurt either.

The movie takes some time to get its rhythm, and while it's commendable for Statham to try this new change, he's still rough in acting department. That being said, Hummingbird is clearly superior than most of his movies. It doesn't rely simply on muscle, but it takes the audience to a more private look into these likable characters. I feel that the role of Joey Jones could be played by Jeremy Renner or Tom Cruise. If Jason Statham can continue in roles like this, he'd be bigger than just the guys who beats people up.

Rate 7.5/10
141 out of 162 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
Don't mind the wining folks: this is a good movie
regg14777777728 June 2013
I never write reviews, but this time I was compelled to...

Don't bother reading the negative reviews from people moaning about how they miss Jason Statham being chased in a car or beating the crap out of everyone. If you want that and that only, then just go watch Transporter I, II and III.

If you want to see something different and refreshing, then simply don't miss this one. The story is good, there is plenty of action, and developed characters.

With a closed mind, expecting to see yet another copy of Jason's previous work, you'll be disappointed. But with an open mind, you will enjoy watching this very much.

This change of plan is simply the best thing Jason has done yet. He's convincing and manages to create quite some depth in his character. AND he still kicks ass. I can't see another actor having pulled this mixture of action, drama and psychology off better then Jason. He actually played a convincing 'human being' that has to take a hit like everyone, and he did it very well.

Amongst the better action/drama flicks of 2013.

8/10
155 out of 182 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
Mixing Tones
Mek Torres31 May 2013
Once someone see Jason Statham's name and face on the promotional materials, they will immediately think Hummingbird is another action film where the star runs around the city fighting bad guys. If you came expecting it to be like The Transporter or any typical Statham feature, it would be either disappointing or otherwise surprising. The plot is more of a Neo-Noir drama about a man who lives in the rotten side of society and faces real consequences. The film is unbalanced in handling two of its tones, but the context hits the right note in the end. Hummingbird has a better way to tell the story but it's already a fascinating film to watch.

The story is obviously about redemption, and as a Statham film it should have fistfights to show his enemies who's boss. But instead his character here troubles facing his demons and has to commit crimes to get what he needs. It's a much interesting story about people who have to deal with the unfair reality and beat it off with their skills. It surely has punching but they are used for torture rather than exciting action set pieces, though they may still remind you of a standard action film. The film suffers of balancing between tones. Example is the opening feels totally different from the rest of the movie. It looks like a complete thriller until it randomly jumps to art-house crime drama. Probably, it's a set up for the ones who came for the action by the main actor's existence in the film, but it goes again whenever Joey beats up someone for his job. Maybe the problem is these scenes are not grim enough. They should have shown an uglier depiction of violence.

The best parts are when it simply keeps the characters into their gloomy lives. Letting everyone understand the protagonist's motivation of being a Robin Hood. Jason Statham didn't standout much. His fighting is still impressive, though our familiarity to his moves kind of glosses the scenes that are supposed to be uneasy to watch, but his natural film personality buys the character, giving awareness to the choices he make and guilt he receives. The real talent that shines here is Agata Buzek, who genuinely presents her character's contrasting traits.

Hummingbird is a strange film with a classic kind of story, but it's the sort of strange that is rarely seen in cinema today. It's sort of hard to find the right type of audience to get appealed to this. It was all drama, then suddenly has fighting scenes that are supposed to be dark yet becomes the other way around. In other parts, it has an engaging exploration of the characters' bleak little world. The filmmaking is as magnificent as it needs and the performances are quite gripping. It still deserves a better portrayal of its conflicts and a set of tones that could decently fit together. In the end, it's a worth seeing change from the genre and the main actor.
103 out of 119 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
7/10
A Welcome Change Of Pace For Statham
A K12 June 2013
Now i'm a definite fan of Jason Statham. After reading the reviews of this film iv'e realized that no matter what this man does he will not please the critics. Whenever he does what he is good at(action movies), he is just one note and doesn't do anything else. When he tries something different like in this movie, he isn't good enough for a dramatic role.Well I for one enjoyed this film as a welcome change of pace as this is his most serious/dramatic role which I felt he did a good job.

The story is dark, gritty and down to earth as many war vets suffer psychological problems and as a result end up homeless or drug addicts.The movie is very character driven, layered which adds some needed depth to a Statham movie. He plays Joey Jones, a homeless war vet traumatized by his experiences and much of the story is about his character's experience's in the underworld of London. The movie feels authentic, the way its shot on the dark London streets and also reading that their was research done on Statham's part preparing for the role.It's good to see he can do a dramatic role plus use his action strengths and kick ass when he does.

Overall, If your expecting an all out action film maybe you should watch Safe instead. However, if you want to see a darker, grittier film more deep than your typical Statham film and welcome the change of pace. I'd give it a watch and see how you like it.

Overall: 7/10
107 out of 125 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
9/10
This is not a Jason Statham movie!!
RupeTroop12 July 2013
If you're like me, when you see Jason Statham starring in a movie you immediately roll your eyes. You can picture the entire movie now: woman in distress, fast cars, lots of hand-to-hand combat, and nice clothes. I've seen nearly every Statham movie there is and they all sort of feel the same.

I saw him on the cover and past over this movie until finally one day stumbling across the trailer. After watching the trailer I had to see this movie, and boy was I wrong. This is definitely not your typical Jason Statham movie. Yes it has a lot of the same elements but Statham portrays a different type of character this time. Most of his movies the acting comes after the action, but this movie is first a drama and second an action flick.

He's got a quiet reserve in this movie, not the cocky arrogance you expect when you see him act. He really stole this movie from the very beginning and by the end I actually feel like I like him again - not since The Italian Job can I say that!

This is a must watch for anyone. I highly recommend.
71 out of 86 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
9/10
I will actually watch this a second time . It has a strong moving element to it.
Haider-kazmee28 June 2013
This has to be one of the underrated movies this year which was quite magnificent to watch. I usually watch Statham's flicks for the action and adrenaline rush but this has an element called perfect pacing. The pros for me was the -Acting performances were better than I expected -Great setting and Strong theme -Music was well done -and lastly the action was well choreographed to make it seem believable. Do give this movie a try. It's not like the previous movies Jason Statham's done like The Transporter, Safe, Crank, But this movie just shows what Mr. Statham is capable of when shooting in an area he is familiar with. I don't know why the U.S. version changed the title to Redemption. I liked Hummingbird a lot better because it has an explanation to it in the movie.
61 out of 77 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
This is what I've been waiting for
Anirudh28 June 2013
I was glad to see Jason Statham in this film. This was the perfect opportunity for him to showcase his acting talent in a rather dark, dramatic role than the usual action-hero roles that he's better known for...and he made good use of it. This one is quite different from the usual 'a guy seeking redemption' story. It is in many ways an introspective kind of film and it does bring out some emotions and make you feel for the characters portrayed by the lead actors (If you're into these kinds of films, of course). If you're expecting this to be another of his high-octane action-thrillers, you may end up disappointed. But if you're looking forward to watch him in a more existentialist role in a well written crime-drama with a few bits of action in it, you'll definitely like it.
58 out of 74 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
9/10
what an action movie should be ...
A_Different_Drummer29 June 2013
To understand why this movie is to be savoured, you need to consider where it comes from. Action movies these days, a dime a dozen. Hollywood (eg JJ Abrams) bangs them out like donuts on a production line. Then you have the second tier stuff, guys like Van Damme and Seagal, both old enough to be each other's grandfather, cranking out films for approximately what a summer student would make pushing fries and Big Macs between classes -- and the films show it. In this category you also have the MMA stuff, all from directors so young they need permission to stay up late for the night scenes. And then you have the Indies, films that not only have no recognizable talent behind the camera, but unknowns in front also. Included in this class you have the Chinese and assorted Asian imports, with quality so uneven (assuming you don't mind the dubbing) you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Into his arena of pain -- mental pain -- comes Redemption, not only Statham's best acting in 100 years (who knew he even could act?) but also clearly the work of a director who understands that sometimes less is more. Most reviews of a Statham film will list the fight scenes and then tell you what is right or wrong about each. Not that kind of film. A real honest to God film-film that actually engages the viewer and moves along in a very satisfying way. Would that they were all like that.
67 out of 87 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
Despite an odd mixture of genres and several different plots, a very entertaining film!
jtca118 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
From watching the trailer I had my doubts about the film. It made it appear a very boring drama with no action and little plot. The fact that it was set in London, had quite a small budget (for a cinema movie) of $20 million and had no other big names apart from Statham made me think that it would be similar to Statham's film, Blitz, which was absolutely terrible. However, when I obtained free tickets to the premiere there was no way that I was going to turn this down and I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.

The film begins with flashbacks of Joey's (Jason Statham) army days with explosions and lots of gunfire. The film then quickly moves to night-time in London and shows Joey, now living on the streets with some woman called Isabel, getting beaten up by a group of thugs. The scene is bloody and brutal. However, there weren't many close-ups so if you hadn't seen the trailer, then you wouldn't know that the tramp with the long hair was Jason Statham. Joey then escapes and manages to get into a rich guy's apartment. The next part of the film shows Statham's character recovering from his wounds and exploring his new apartment and getting drunk. This bit of the film was slightly too long and could have been cut down a bit. At this point the film sort of splits into several different story lines. First there's Jason getting accustomed to living as a rich guy and dealing with terrible memories from his time in Afghanistan, second there's the romance between Joey and Sister Cristina, brilliantly played by Agata Buzek, third there's Statham's character doing all these dirty jobs for the gangsters then lastly there's Joey's quest to find out who killed Isabel and obtain revenge. Now, I imagine that some people may not like this and I notice that the negative reviews so far have cited this as a complaint. It's true that there isn't really a focus on one of the story lines in particular and we could have got more of a feel for the villain of the film, who only appears in like 2 scenes. However, I found all these plots refreshing and blended well to make a film, which has a little something for everyone.

One of the main things you want to see in a Statham film is action, particularly hand-to- hand combat. I was worried that there would be hardly any and others must have thought the same because before the premiere the producer said "Don't worry, Jason does get to beat up some guys!" How wrong I was! The film actually has a lot of action; about 5 fight scenes plus a scene where Jason gets to throw someone off the roof of a tall building. Amazing stuff! The fight scenes are as good as any Jason's done before and one of them is perhaps the most violent, bloody and gruesome I've ever seen in a Statham film.

If I were to describe the genre of the film I would say it was a mixture of action, drama, comedy and romance. Some of the comedy is very well done, e.g. when Joey buys 60 pizzas and 60 garlic breads for the homeless, but other parts such as when Joey and Cristina visit an Art Gallery with pictures of penises all over the walls, just doesn't belong in a film of a mostly serious nature like this. Another complaint I have with the film is the ending, which seemed very sudden and a bit of an anti-climax.

There are terrific acting performances from Statham and Buzek. The character of Joey is written in a way that it is tough for the audience to admire/like him but Statham manages to succeed in this. Buzek makes for a very sweet and beautiful nun. Her character also has a troubled past.

The filming is terrific. I've seen quite a few films made in London with very dull and plain locations but this film picks the best areas of London and actually manages to get lots of beautiful shots of the city. The music is pretty good but perhaps lacks variety.

I definitely recommend this film to Statham fans and to anyone who wants to be entertained yet see serious issues dealt with as well. This film feels very different to the typical Statham film yet will satisfy both fans and non-fans. Steven Knight has gone as far from a typical Statham flick as he possibly could without removing the best bits. Of course there will be those who think that the action should be removed completely to allow complete focus on the homeless theme but Jason Statham is an action star. He belongs in action films and that's where people want to see him. All in all a superb first film for Steven Knight as director.

My top 5 Jason Statham films as of now are:

1. Transporter 2 2. Safe 3. Transporter 4. Hummingbird 5. The Mechanic

8/10
47 out of 60 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
7/10
Jason Statham Shines as a serious Actor
Zuma Ondeki30 June 2013
Just finished watching "Redemption"/Hummingbird" and was most impressed with this movie as entertainment,I knew nothing about it except my favorite"Action Man"Jason Statham was in it so that was enough to gain my interest and I was not disappointed however it was a movie not in the usual style I expected of Jason Statham,after I got past the first fifteen minutes started to seriously get into the story. I won't go on with with all the details of the Plot,if you have taken the trouble to read my review you will know that information. This is a movie for anyone who enjoys good Drama/action with a small hint of romance and revenge also some redemption thrown in almost at the end, there I think I covered it all,was also impressed with Agata Buzek a new actress to me who is now on my Radar,her character of "Cristina" the Nun was very believable.I gave this film a seven because I enjoyed and was entertained which is why one goes to the movies.......
37 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
Definitely Worthwhile
fung027 July 2013
Reviews seem evenly split between 'masterpiece' and 'disaster,' so let me cast a tie-breaking vote. You can look at Redemption as either a thoughtful action movie or a violent art film... but it's very good either way.

The acting is definitely worthwhile. Statham has always been better than the average action star, and here he's given more emotional material to chew on than in most of his vehicles. Buzek is equally solid as the Polish nun. She's far from a conventional beauty, and seems perfectly cast.

The production is excellent, with a gritty, super-saturated urban look to it. And the story? I think it holds up extremely well. This is a bit of a fable, a vignette out of the middle of a turbulent life. Joey made me think of a more-thoughtful, less self-assured Jack Reacher. He's a product of our violent world, who's trying to do the right thing and thereby buy back his soul.

The film doesn't pull back from the contradictions of his attempt to find inner peace through extreme violence. And it gives us many memorable vignettes along the way. The business with the red dress. The opera. The pizza parties at the soup kitchen. These build up a very effective portrait of Joey. The ending is unconventional, and, I think, extremely appropriate. It says something not just about Joey, but about the needlessly violent world we've built - or allowed to be built in our name.

Redemption may not be a timeless classic of the cinema, but it's hard to deny that it is a very good little film, with many admirable qualities. It's a film I'll certainly enjoy watching more than once.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
An exploration of the individual journey that doesn't realise it's full potential.
Matt West15 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Jason Statham is, for me, a polarising actor. He is gifted with the ability to create vivid characters but instead squanders his career on cheap action clichés. So when Hummingbird aka Redemption showed up on my radar I renewed hope that Statham was going to try and evolve with the times as he starts to age and his action blockbusters become more and more lacklustre.

Hummingbird is a story of belonging in a hard twenty-first century, where a nun and a former soldier are brought together by circumstance and help each other to grow as life intervenes and shakes up the status quo. Statham's character Joey Jones has slipped into a life of destitution when a twist of fate gives him a second chance. With his new found good luck, Joey makes sure to support those who have supported him in his time of hardship, giving money to a nun who ran a soup kitchen in downtown London. She is reluctant to accept his goodwill, knowing where the money had likely come from, but as she gets to know Joey better she finds herself growing more and more attached to him, growing to understand Joey as a human being and challenging her own worldviews in the process.

Along the way of Joey's transformation, he is hired as muscle by a Chinese gang, a job which he reluctantly takes, and which ultimately goes against the morals he decides to adhere to. His nun love interest, Agata Buzek, finds Joey's willingness to support crime repulsive, with it being the major barrier between the two and a relationship.

As his work becomes more and more violent and the world starts to close in on Joey, he is forced to make the decision between becoming a good man and being able to live with himself, or losing that which he truly holds dear. Agata meanwhile is confronted with her life choices with Joey's arrival and is torn between her duty as a nun and her natural instinct to be free.

Hummingbird is a brilliant achievement, injected with emotion, tension, love and passion. Thrills are more of a subplot than anything else. The film's objective is to find peace for its two protagonists and while there is not a typical "happy" ending, it is satisfyingly true to the heart of the characters and ties everything off nicely.

Reviews have been mixed about Hummingbird for a reason, though. A longer running time and better focus on the more thrilling aspects of the story would make it overall more effective. There are certain faucets of the story which don't quite gel as well as they are supposed to, but then again it's important to remember that a Shakespearean love story is very much at the core of Hummingbird, where it belongs.
17 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
9/10
Good people doing bad things
msmithwgc1 July 2013
I saw this film on the strength of Steven Knight being the writer and director.

As with two of his other films (Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promise) it provides a dark view into the London that you always suspected might be there but prefer not to think about. I went with an open mind because I'd not heard of Agata Buzek and I'm no fan of Jason Statham, but this is a truly superb story and the delivery by all of the cast is excellent.

What Steven Knight does so amazingly well in all of his films is show us essentially good people struggling to do the right things because of their personal circumstances. Both Statham and Buzek are flawed characters. They both know how they should behave but somehow can't live up to that ideal. The strength of the film is in watching the internal anguish of these characters as they try to overcome their current situation whilst at the same time both are looking for some form of 'redemption' for their past actions.

The other 'star' of the film, for me, is the location. Knight clearly has a thorough knowledge of London and the Covent Garden setting is well thought through in the way that it fits with other aspects of the film (Stathams 'employment' and Buzeks lifelong obsession are both within easy walking distance).

I'm not sure this film would make my top 10 list, but it definitely gets into the top 50.
33 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
Very good movie: action plus a little extra .. an amazing mix
touhamifethi20 September 2013
I rarely write reviews for movies but the ones I really like ...

To be honest I was expecting a transporter-like pure action movie, but I found more than just action. I found very amazingly told stories of a broken man and of a nun! A man who was offered a chance to reconstruct his life again and run away from his past .. a man who is both a human and a war machine .. and Steven Knight and Jason Statham did a pretty good job in mixing these two sides and presenting them to us .. we only have to choose.

For those who like me love "human" stories .. and action movies .. the mix between the two in this movie is almost perfect.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
9/10
Stathams best ever
Leema Raven13 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I admit I love Jason Statham movies. He is this generations movie action hero, no doubt. To see him in the role he played in this movie was an absolute treat.

Sure, he was still the hero action movie goers love, but the drama that developed around his story and that of Agata Buzek was phenomenal. The back story was done superbly and the small doses of bad guys getting their due just added that much more to a fantastic movie.

The pace may have seemed slow, but it only added to the story. It wasn't supposed to be a fast paced shoot-em up as most movies these days are. This movie had so many hooks, so many characters to actually care about. I dare say, it was a "feel good" movie for me.

Stephen Knight did a wonderful job on this film and absolutely aced the ending.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
9/10
Deserves so much more praise than it has gotten
Marc Smith31 July 2013
Firstly, for those who are fans of Jason Statham, this is NOT an action movie. There are very few fighting scenes, and is largely unrecognizable from other classic Statham movies, such as Crank, Lock Stock and Snatch.

Hummingbird is much more a powerhouse drama, built not to entertain but to touch (which, looking at the initial reactions and summaries) is something no one was expecting. Though Statham's character comes across as the tough guy that hes played for the last decade, Joey is a far more shattered and broken man, who has gone through mysterious troubles that has left him homeless and on the run from a court martial.

The opening is gritty and devastating, leaving Joey in bad shape and in refuge in a strangers' apartment. It is from here, that he manages to dig his heels in and get his life on the right track. The film uses his original situation, and how he affects those still in it now that he is in a position to help.

With this set up, it is easy to believe the film will be him making everything better (sunshine, ice cream and rainbows etc.). Though he does try his utmost to make an improvement on the situation, the morals of his decisions, and he himself, are not that clear cut. He is an anti hero in the best sense (that he is so well written) and worst (as you often feel troubled by his past and what he goes on to do). There are situations where he turns over a chance to do a lot more help, and possibly make things worse, for the chance to do something relatively insignificant simply because it means more to him.

The film has many hard hitting moments; all of which feel fluid and natural, unlike some recent examples of forced heart-tuggers in other blockbusters. It tries, and mainly succeeds in avoiding the stereotypes that are expected in powerhouse films, with some examples that I'm sure you will notice.

Finally, though the films story ends on a good note, there is still the full knowledge that life goes on; good or bad. I personally loved the grey morality and that the overused need of 'justice for all!' was avoided, as some of the greatest films have in the past (No Country for Old Men, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Fight Club to name just a few)

It may be low budget, but it was exactly what I was hoping to see this year. In a swathe of films built to make money, such as the Smurfs 2 and Planes, that are plopping forgettable into cinemas (and profit records, unfortunately), I'm very glad that I caught one of the rare films these days that respects good writing and directing.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
7/10
All the critics can *beep* off on this one.(Quik Review)
mariogamer20001 July 2013
*Warning. This review is only short, I don't like to write long reviews, so please don't hate this review because its short and everything in the film isn't summarized, thank you.

I'm a huge Jason Statham fan and when I first saw the trailer for this film I was a bit skeptical whether or not, he could pull a dramatic drama performance off. And after reading some of the reviews I wasn't putting my hopes up too much, when the credits showed up, I was shocked.

Jason Statham was excellent, he wasn't the best. But what a transformation from being a *badass action hero, into playing a dramatic war veteran. This movie rocked. There was plenty of great scenes in here, and you can really tell he tried to put on his best performance.You could really feel the emotions of what his character was going through. The directing was also good and the cinematography was also great at times. You could really feel the darkish atmosphere and the danger the homeless people were in. This was most definitely a powerful drama.

So if your a fan of Jason Statham and want to watch something different from him then I recommend this. But please don't expect to see another Transporter film, the class of this one is much higher then many of his previous films.

Im going to give Hummingbird(Or Redemption in the U.S) 3 1/2 Stars. (7/10)

*Hes still badass in this film.

Although it could of have been better and is far from perfect, but it was a joy just watching Statham take on this type of role.
11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
7/10
The subtle humor, the flashy action as well as the dramatic portions of the film provide a beautiful and coherent whole.
Peter Pluymers7 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Statham goes up in my eyes after seeing this movie. He plays the role of a former Special Force soldier who's suffering from PTS and hides, after committing a war crime (as I could deduce), in anonymous London. He plays it perfectly and convincingly. It surely isn't an action movie but rather a morbid drama about how someone, with a self-destructive attitude, gets his act together, goes of to search for his companion and ultimately takes revenge. Furthermore he suddenly helps a compassionate nun who has helped him selflessly in all those years.

Statham is seen as part of the new generation of hard-hitting action heroes that are a repayment of the old-school veterans. And he makes a difference by playing in this film. Imagine a Van Damme, Stallone, or even worse a Schwarzenegger in this role. That would be a ridiculous and unbelievable performance. But Statham fits in this. The scarce action scenes are sometimes raw and realistic, but are not authoritative and are not central as in his other films.

I was fascinated from the start till the end. The performance of Agata Buzek, the Polish nun, was played overwhelmingly. And she is far from ugly if you look at the pictures on IMDb. She has a natural look and contrasts with that beauty ideal from Hollywood.

The subtle humor, the flashy action as well as the dramatic portions of the film provide a beautiful and coherent whole. And that was greatly appreciated by me.

The moment Joey actually confesses his story to the nun, was for me the most important moment in the film. Then he returns to his previous existence as a nobody in the gutter so that he's no longer lethal to others. Strong! Prime Choice! Intriguing! Compelling!

More reviews at http://opinion-as-a-moviefreak.blogspot.be/
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
An alarming view of PTSD in soldiers from the Iraqi Afghanistani war
gradyharp29 June 2013
We are witnessing some very disturbing incidents in this country at present - senseless killings by soldiers who have been mentally bruised by the combat in the seemingly endless wars in the Middle East. REDEMPTION brings an extreme example of how combat exposure can damage otherwise stable persons and if that aspect of the story could have been more explored the movie would have been better.

As it is REDEMPTION (aka HUMMINGBIRD for reasons obvious after seeing the film) is a fine Jason Statham movie as written and directed by Steven Knight who has given us Eastern Promises, Amazing Grace and Dirty Pretty Things. The film is greatly enhanced by the cinematography by Chris Menges and the original musical score by Dario Marianelli. But in the end the film belongs to Jason Statham who may possible be offering his best role to date.

Joey Jones (Jason Statham) is an alcoholic, homeless military deserter on the run from a military court martial: being caught up in the life or death circumstances and the eye for an eye philosophy of the Afghanistani war zone he fled the unbearable trauma and has been hiding his memories in alcohol, living with street people, sharing a cardboard box with fellow homeless Isabel (Victoria Bewick). His food comes from a Redemption House mission run by nun Sister Cristina (the fine Polish actress Agata Buzek) who has past secrets of her own. One night Joey is beaten severely by gang members and Isabel escapes. After this Joey flees, falls (literally) into the fancy apartment of a photographer who is on vacation and there he decides to turn his life around. He gives up alcohol, works out on the roof to rebuild his body, shaves his long hair, dresses in the owner's clothes, uses the owner's TM card for money and sets out to make a living working in a Chinese restaurant. His talents as a brilliant fighter are noted and soon he is making big money working as a 'fixer', and his life becomes one of an avenging angel, giving his 'fixer' earnings to Sister Cristina and to his ex-wife and child. The action is non-stop with many intrusions of nightmares from Joey's experiences in Afghanistan, the subplots are strong, and though some aspects of each of the characters are not fully drawn, there is enough of a forward lunging story to satisfy - even the rather surprising ending. Certainly this is a film that will satisfy the legions of Jason Statham fans.

Grady Harp
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
And the Oscar goes to... Jason Statham!
Right-Wing-Man2 July 2013
I watch every Jason Statham movie, because there's just so many things about him that I like. Yes he is a butt-kicker and his acting is always solid and charismatic. When I put this movie on, I was expecting Jason to kick the hell out of everybody on screen, but what I didn't expect was for him to deliver an Oscar caliber performance. The only reason this movie is getting low IMDb scores is simply because everyone was expecting karate moves and submission holds, with action and some good down home acting. It is unfortunate that people would give a movie with such an excellent story, with great writing and Jason's performance of a lifetime. The depth and delivery of his character was mind-blowing and haunting. All I can tell is watch this movie no matter what the rating is, because the rating is by people who have no clue what real acting is. Hats off to Agata Buzek, just a superb job as well. Thank you to the director, producers and everyone associated with this film it is an absolute gem. Well done!
18 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
A movie that works on all levels; well worth watching
jij9811120 July 2013
I am really surprised that the budget for this movie was only $2 million. It certainly looks like it was much higher.

The movie is a hybrid of action, which Statham is known for, and drama that works on both levels. There is nothing really predictable about this movie except what we know from its title and if you look at it closely enough you can certainly see several clichés in its plot, but they are so well done that they make this movie even more enjoyable. If you are looking for a pure Statham action movie, as some reviewers appear to be, then the rest of the movie may not suit you. However, if you are looking for a twist, and a moving one at that, of the action genre then by all means see this movie. You will enjoy it as I did.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
10/10
A film within a film
demelewis7 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Not the first film to feature an unlikely relationship between a drifter tough guy, and a nun (Clint and Shirley been there and done that), Hummingbird is nevertheless, a far more worthy effort. Worthy? a Jason Statham movie? Yup, that's right, this is actually a pretty good movie, with some food for thought, and which is well worth a look.

Tropic Thunder did a good job of poking fun at the thespian rivalries which exist between 'proper actors' and action stars who feel the sting of not being taken seriously at their chosen craft. But what is particularly interesting about Hummingbird and that notion, is that the film's storyline itself is one which has a character who is making a not dissimilar journey into a wider world; that of a traumatised man of action, who wishes to become a man of warmth and compassion, but can find no easy route to where he wants to be. Whether by accident or by design, this makes what we see on screen in Statham's portrayal, almost a film within a film, as we watch him break away from phoning in an easy and comfortable one dimensional tough guy performance, to someone who has to mine a much deeper seam of acting ability.

I've never actually thought Jason Statham was a rotten actor, I suspected he might actually be not bad at it, but we've never really seen him have to do it, because he's never really had the kind of roles where it is necessary in order to get his movies in the can, until Hummingbird that is.

Of course if movies were filmed in sequence from beginning to end, that would have given Jason Statham the gift of being able to evolve his craft as his character in the movie evolves, but since they are not, what we see is Statham demonstrating what I had suspected, that he can actually pull out a pretty convincing, measured, emotional performance, and there is more than one such moment when he is required to do so in Hummingbird. It's not one which will have the Academy and the BAFTAS lauding all over him, but in fairness to Statham, I've seen far worse films and performances get such plaudits regularly.

Unlike a lot of Statham movies, this is not a one man show, with Agata Buzek providing more than the one dimensional love interest we'd typically see in a Statham movie, and in fact being as much a part of the tale as he is. Casting Buzek in the role was an inspired choice. Little known outside her native Poland, and in Germany where she has often worked, she is one of the well-liked and well known stars of European cinema. So we get someone with serious acting chops sharing screen time with Statham, and credit where it is due, he is not outshone by her acting abilities at all. Moreover, unlike most of his movies, where you'd get some carbon copy bimbo as the love interest, instead we have Buzek's frail and unconventional beauty, which suits the role of a slightly awkward young nun who has her own tragedy to deal with alongside that of Statham's character.

This is where the storyline has a good deal of merit, in that the redemption which became the US release's somewhat telegraphed title, we learn, is not only that of Statham's hard man and his guilt over a wartime atrocity, but also that of Buzek's nun, although I won't spoil things by saying exactly what her trauma is.

What emerges, is a gentle and convincing love story, but not a convenient one, nor exactly a conventional one either. This juxtaposes beautifully against the more familiar violent aspects which come as little surprise when we know the typical kind of film Statham makes. It's almost a new genre, an intelligent, emotional action movie.

When we take into account other stylistic touches in the mix, such as contrasting the modern day surveillance in London with the flashbacks of surveillance from Statham's character's wartime experiences, and a colour palette which is often as dark as the two main character's problems, it's apparent that this is a movie which offers a lot more depth and storyline than we are used to seeing in your average Statham flick.

That is not to say the movie is perfect, there are some contrivances and tropes which are occasionally a bit too convenient to make things truly convincing, but having said that, one can forgive these for the purposes of making the unfolding storyline hang together to create a watchable film. It also risks falling between two stools in being perhaps too violent for a girlfriend to cuddle up and watch it with her bloke, but possibly too emotive for many pure action genre fans. But if you like seeing a mental sweat unfold on screen as much as you like seeing a physical one, then it ticks both those boxes to be not only watchable, but one of only a few which does a lot more with the action genre than we are used to seeing, in providing a thoughtful reason for the violence, that thoughtfulness being far more than the typical brief nod it receives in most actioners.

If you can find it on DVD for a fiver, then it will be a fiver well spent, because you will certainly watch it more than once.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
6/10
Change of pace for Statham
Andy Boughey22 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I would fully expect a lot of Jason Statham fans to be disappointed with this movie, and those expecting the usual fast paced wall to wall action may feel a little let down. Credit to the star who seems to be churning out a lot of pictures to a standard formula these days, it doesn't seem to matter which side of the law the character he portrays is on, the audience seems to be rooting for him. Again, he's usually highly principled, honorable and of course hard as nails. Redemption takes a different approach, although some key elements remain. After a brief but brutal opening we find Statham as an ex military soldier with a checkered past, living the life of a bum on the street. After he suffers a beating at the hands of some street thugs, he fortuitously ends up hiding in an empty upscale apartment, the owner of which is away for 6 months. This was the only real part of the film that stretched credulity for me, in this day and age, the ability to live out the life he does albeit briefly, would I suspect be highly unlikely. Anyway, enough about that. After the young girl he shared a cardboard box goes missing, and he's able to turn his life around he gains some employment. While searching for the girl, he then becomes an enforcer for the Chinese underworld in London, a job that brings rich rewards, but troubles his conscience. Frequently revisiting the soup kitchen and Nun who runs it (an absorbing and interesting sub plot) he sets about trying to atone for his past life, save the girl, and make amends with his ex, and daughter who doesn't know him - hence the title of the movie. The acting is excellent, and Statham shows some real depth instead of the usual ass kicking dead pan delivery. I won't spoil the movie, but if you go in knowing that it's a slow burner, with layers of story, and believable if infrequent action you will probably enjoy it. I gave it 4 stars, a little generous maybe, but for a change of direction I liked it.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
9/10
A Man, A Nun, and a Gun
zardoz-1326 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"Redemption" isn't the usual, run-of-the-mill, Jason Statham nonsense. Indeed, writer & director Steven Knight's first film as a helmer is a hybrid crime thriller and an intense psychological character study about a loose cannon who literally wants to redeem himself. One of the uncharacteristic elements is our hero's relationship with a ballerina-turned-Catholic nun who has her own history of abuse and violence. Statham is cast as a man with a shady patch. Something devastating happened to him as a Special Forces soldier in Afghanistan that traumatized him and set him on the low road. He has been dodging the authorities and living in cardboard boxes on the mean streets of London as a drug attic. Hoodlums who prey on these poor, homeless people give our hero a terrible pasting, but he manages to escape their clutches. The woman that Joey was with ends up floating in the river as the result of a sadistic individual who loves to rough up hookers. Meantime, Joey eludes these thugs and breaks into the apartment of a gay man. He appropriates the man's apparel and uses his money to help a nun, Christina (Agata Buzek) and her soup kitchen for the homeless. Once Joey recovers from the assault in the alley, he takes a job as a menial dishwasher and comes to the attention of the owner of the restaurant after he handles a group of rowdy customers. Mr. Choy (Benedict Wong) is an Asian crime boss in London who decides that Joey can be of use to him so he sends him out to make collections from people who owe him money. Joey has a talent for violence and he handles himself like a confident, self-assured individual. The driving force behind Joey's new persona is his desire to find Isabela (Victoria Bewick) who died at the hands of an abusive customer. The characters in Knight's film are gripping people with problems. The scene where the nun relives her past as a promising ballerina who was raped 17 times by her teacher is startling. Eventually, Joey finds the dastard who was responsible for Isabela's murder. Joey meets Mark Forrester at a party in a high rise building and literally throws this bastard off the top of the building. Despite its plethora of violence, "Redemption" aims to be more than a rugged thriller. This is a genuinely serious thriller about a flawed man without a trace of charisma. Statham fans who prefer his typical superficial, brawny movies may not enjoy "Redemption" as much as those who like to see the bullet-headed maverick a role of greater substance. Basically, Statham is a bad man who does good things. Uneven at times, "Redemption" is nevertheless entertaining fodder.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
real London
bektaskonca21 June 2013
I now seen another Steven Knight film to realise this man knows London, far better then any writer or director. i do not know how he gets his information my guess is from the films he makes it must be first hand. i loved all 3 films he has done about real gritty side of our London which none other writer or director has in this century. coming back to this movie seen Jason Statham taking on such role is a big surprise as we all know he is an action star not drama, but i have to admit with a good directing he did not do bad in this. i am sure Agata Buzek after this movie will gone to make more movies as she done a great job in this one.i can say the film had a great directing, scenario, camera work and some of the best and most gritty places in London. hummingbird is not for everyone especially those high and mighty educated sort who turns a blind eye to what really goes on London's back streets. but as i lived and seen those there is nothing more appealing to my eyes. i can not choose to be ignorant to life a round me how ever bad or miserable it is, i choose not to be blind and try to do what i can. this movie has only one problem that is trying to fit lots of different stories in 100 minutes and fails if they went with the drama side of it it would have been awards deserving from every aspect. i am hoping Mike Knight continuous with his portrayal of real life of London and not stray away from that like so many others there is not much of his kind left in high society. i say go see the movie if you live in London you just might find something of yourself in it. i recommend this movie any one over the age of 16 as it has lot of violence in it.
17 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed